We have been here a few times before and enjoyed the playhouse and the general feel of the little town, so we thought we would come back again and see some plays and do a little fishing.
Bigfork is a summer get away for many that come from as far as San Diego, CA and the east coast. They stay in the many condos and time shares in the area as well as their own summer homes. It is located on the northeast shore of Flathead Lake. The Swan river runs through the town as it empties into the lake. The Flathead river also empties into the lake near Kalispell to the north. There are lots of things to do in the area including water sports, fishing and hiking.
The Flathead is a relatively good sized lazy river that is easy to float with our pontoon boats. Ted's brother and his wife joined us to see the area and the guys went fishing, which shouldn't surprise anyone. We took the boats up to the Hungry Horse access point and floated down to a takeout at Teakettle. The float was fun with some nice scenery but the fishing was not great that day. We went about seven miles in about the same number of hours.
Like most towns, Bigfork has a 4th of July parade. People and entrants come from all over the area. The spectators line the main streets and the parade just flows through. It seems like anyone who wants to be in the parade just shows up and parades.
It is lots of fun, especially for the kids, because many of the parade entrants throw candy to all the people along the route and the kids scramble around trying to beat each other to it.
The next afternoon we went to the park where there was supposed to be a group playing Celtic music. Well, that was a great plan except it started raining. They put up a notice and moved to one of the churches in town. When we got there the performers were also just arriving and began setting up. So we helped where we could and soon the group began to play.
Only a few of the people that would have been at the park showed up, so the performance was rather casual and everyone had a great time. The group played long after they were supposed to pack it up because the audience kept asking for more. We could have sat there for hours more, listening to the great music they produced.
The group is "Tra Le Gael" and you can get more info here. The lady that plays the hammered dulcimer is Barbara Calm, DVM, and the above link is to her website that hosts the news of the group. They will have a CD out soon and I am keeping an eye on the website so I can get a copy.
We camped at the Outback campground which is about five minutes south of Bigfork near Woods Bay. The hotel at Woods Bay has a restaurant with good food for lunch and dinner. The Woods Bay Grill is within walking distance of the campground and has really good breakfasts. They make their own great jams and preserves that they serve with the food, and, that you can buy (canned in Mason jars) and take with you.
Another good place to eat for breakfast and lunch is the Echo Lake Cafe, about a 15 minute drive north of Bigfork.
Our favorite place for dinner is the Showthyme which is next door to the play house. When we go to a play we always have dinner there. It is fine dining with an excellent choice of fare.